Slluatratiii /artjirag 3Jnnka.
LONDON: DEAN & SON,
11, Ludgate Hill. 6
" Oh, dear !"' exclaimed Nellie Martin,
as she came in from school, and threw her
books down on the table, <c I do think a
boarding-school is the worst place in the
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" Why," replied Mabel Lee, " I thought
you liked it ever so much ; you said you
" Well, I thought so then, but I don't
now, for the girls are making unkind re-
marks about me ; and I mean to write to
mamma, and ask her if I may come home."
A slight smile spread over Mabel's
countenance, as she rejoined :
" 1 suppose you never say anything
against the other girls, do you?"
"No, indeed, not as they do, I am
sure. Why, if I said one half as many
things about Gertrude Leland as she does
about me, 1 should be ashamed to shew
my face anywhere."
" Well, Nellie, suppose you and I each
take a piece of paper and write down
every slanderous' expression that we hear
each other use this evening, and at nine
o'clock compare our papers."
" Well, I am willing, but I don't
believe we shall have anything to write ;
at any rate, I think your paper will be
blank. If you would only try it with the
girls in the next room, there would be
some fun in it."
The evening wore away, and nine
o'clock arrived. As soon as the first stroke
ftf the bell was heard, Nellie pushed aside
her books, saying, " Now, Mabel, let me
hear what you have to say; you must
read first, because you have the longest
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list. ^ Indeed, it seems to me your
pencil has done nothing but write, write,
all the evening."
11 And it strikes me that your tongue
has done nothing but run, run, all the
evening. But I must begin, or we shall
not be in bed in time. I have — let me
see—one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten breaches of the Ninth
Commandment against you on my paper."
" Not so many, I know ; let me hear."
" In the first place, when you opened
your books to commence studying, you
thought Miss Lane was the crossest teacher
that ever lived, she gave such long and
u I remember that, but that is the
strongest expression I have used, is it not ?"
" We will see. Then, you asked me if
I intended to keep my two silent hours
this evening ; I told you no, not until to-
morrow morning; upon that, you called
Mrs. an unfeeling creature, for re-
quiring to keep them at all.
" Soon after that, the fire needed some
attention. You went to the coal- box for
6 CARELESS WORDS.
some coals, and accidentally tore your
dress on a nail which was sticking in the
inside of it. You declared that the next
time you had a box sent you from home,
you hoped your brother John would have
nothing to do with nailing it up ; the
' little scamp/ I think was the epithet you
used. You sat down to mend your dress,
but could not find your thimble; I re-
minded you that you lent it to Fannie,
yesterday, and you replied that you
wished she had been at the bottom of the
Red Sea, before she came in here borrow-
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ing your things. I could not help smiling,
then ; for I remembered that you bor-
rowed hers a week ago, and lost it ; and
she was obliged to use yours instead.
" About eight o'clock, Sarah came in to
ask you where the History lesson com-
menced ; you told her ; but no sooner had
she left the room, than you exclaimed, ' I
hope I shall never be accused of following
her example ; she had better keep her
ears open when the lesson is given out. I
believe she always hears with her elbows.'
" Our lamp w r ent out, a few minutes
ago. You called the lady with whom we
board, a ' stingy old woman ' that could
not afford to supply us with decent lamp-
" Oh, Mabel, did I really say that ? I
don't remember it ; why, how wicked it
was ! It was entirely my fault that the
lamp did not burn well ; for when I had
sealed my letter, I played with my seal-
ing-wax until I had nearly covered the
wick with it, Well, please don't read
any more to me, for I am heartily
ashamed of myself. In future, I will try
to keep a strict watch over my tongue;
and over my thoughts, too, for I suppose
I should never say such things if I did not
think them first."
Ar Mabel lay in bed that night, think-
ing over the events of that day, this verse
came into her mind : " In the multitude
of words there wanteth not sin ; but he
that refraineth his lips is wise."